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Year's Best Hardcore Horror, Volume 4

Narrated by: D. Paul Faulkner
Series: Year's Best Hardcore Horror, Book 4
Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
1 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

Red Room Press is extremely proud to present its fourth annual anthology featuring this year's hardcore corps of authors with the best extreme horror fiction of 2018 that breaks boundaries and trashes taboos.

First up is Vigil by Chad Lutzke. Chad takes us into a neighborhood where a steady stream of decayed corpses are exhumed from a neighbor’s cellar. Extreme olfactory horror at its best.

Deborah Sheldon went under the knife for the inspiration of Hair and Teeth, and the result is a tale of gynecological body horror likely to terrify women and make most men squeamish.

With Rut Season Brain Hodge makes a return to Year’s-best stories in a tale as chilling as it is heart-wrenching, inspired by a thousand-mile drive littered with roadkill and some personal tragedies.

Control by Jeff Parsons introduces us to a meth addict stalking potential victims in Central Park to get money for the next score. 

Annie Neugebauer is back with Cilantro, a Neugebauerian yarn of culinary chaos sure to turn stomachs and cause nightmares. 

Tim Waggoner likewise returns this year with Voices Like Barbwire, an exploratory dig into old wounds and painful memories.

Rebecca Rowland’s Bent wins the Most Cringe-worthy Story honor with her twisted tale of extreme body horror. Her well-drawn characters seem to come off the page but God forbid they do. Their idea of a pretzel party is truly twisted.

Scath Beorh takes Lovecraftian cosmic horror to its next level with Lord of the Mesa.

Sean Patrick Hazlett’s story The Godhead Grimoire possesses dangerous religious overtones and a forbidden bloodthirsty book.

Carnal Bodies by R.E. Hellinger is a shocking story of baroque horror and demonic necrophilia from Two Dead Queers Present: Guillozine. You’ll have to read this one to believe it.

In Crossroads of Opportunity Ed Kurtz and doungjai gam take you on a-deal-with-the-devil-at-the-crossroads trip with a son driving his dead mother to an uncertain destination. Trouble is, his mother is a bit of a backseat driver and she just won’t shut up.

Seras Nikita’s Dad’s Famous Preserves won’t do much for your appetite but it will show you a recipe for disaster when a jungle missionary’s foot infection blossoms into a stomach-churning nightmare.

The Bearded Woman, brought all the way from Rome, Italy, by the inimitable Alessandro Manzetti. His dystopian future tale takes us for a ride in the Bearded Woman’s circus trailer as she and her dwarf husband bring their marriage to a bloody end.

Sara Tantlinger’s The Devil’s Dreamland takes us inside the Murder Castle of the infamous H.H. Holmes with her brilliant narrative poem of macabre beauty.

Frank Oreto’s All God’s Creatures Got Reasons reveals that there are real monsters walking among us, monsters with a savage appetite for young flesh, but they are so skilled at covering their tracks, we never even know they’re there.

The Ugly by J.R. Park introduces us to a couple of sweet little kids who may have a good reason for torturing and eating cats. It’s a way to keep the ugly at bay. Or is it?

Doug Ford’s I Have a Confession takes a coldblooded plunge into sex with a ghost. But what if it’s not a ghost?

In When the Owls Call Lyman Graves takes us “stealth camping” in a Texas park after hours, where a strange and dangerous gathering is taking place. David Lynch might say, “The owls are not what they seem”. But are they?

Jeremy Thompson is back this year with his nefarious pal the Hallowfiend in Bloodletting and Intrigue on All Hallows’ Eve’. With a stylistic nod to Ray Bradbury, Jeremy delivers on our promise that something twisted this way comes.

Capping it all off, Alicia Hilton serves up Monkey See, Monkey Do as a tasty little nightcap (for those with hardcore tastes).

Salud!

Sleep well. If you can.

- Randy Chandler and Cheryl Mullenax

©2019 Red Room Press (P)2019 Red Room Press

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Boring

Just pedestrian, A monotone dialogue makes things worse. Avoid. If this is the best the editors can offer it is time to call if a day.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Abandoned 1/3 Through

I really didn't enjoy this, which is a shame as I love horror and I love short stories.
I abandoned listening to this about 1/3 through. I did not enjoy the narrator at all and that may have been part of the problem I had with this book, his voice was a little nasally and it was really starting to grind on me. The stories that I did listen to were alright, but certainly nothing that I would class as 'hardcore horror', more 'mild'.
Sorry, I tried but this wasn't for me.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request via Audioboom and have voluntarily left this review.

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Profile Image for Mark Mackey
  • Mark Mackey
  • 22-10-19

Year's Best Hardcore Horror, Volume 4

I actually liked this. Interesting overall, this is a remarkable collection of horror, suspense short stories. Good writing and narration.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • timj26
  • 08-10-19

Great collection

I’ve become a fan of many talented authors through this series
This felt less gory and more story driven then the previous three books witch should attract a larger horror crowd
The narrator was good but the odd background noise could be distracting
If your looking to get into more hardcore horror I highly recommend this series as a whole
I received a free review audiobook and voluntarily left this review

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Wanda
  • 18-10-19

Not horror

Although I did enjoy this book I don't consider it horror, more like something that goes bump in the night. Lots of sexual activity but again not hardcore.
I received this free for an honest review from the author or narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Brian
  • Brian
  • 16-11-19

Eclectic Extreme Horror Anthology

This collection of extreme horror ranging from subtle to beating you over the head and from psychological horror to more straight forward examples is a solid entry. There's not really any stories who stand out as they're pretty level without any who bring the whole experience down. The only real negative might be that not all the stories are that extreme, but I enjoyed the morning scale instead of going to 11 and staying there.

I received the review code for this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this honest review.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Major Rhyno
  • 14-11-19

Simply the worst narration

This is by far, the worst narrated book I have listened, ever. The narrator belongs reading droll books of unimportance as opposed to what should the the best hardcore horror of the year. The lineage of these anthologies was fallen far from the mark.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Charles
  • 23-12-19

Not hardcore at all

I am sorry to say that none of these stories were that scary. I read a lot of horror and thought I try listening to some for a change.
I understand that these were short stories but many of the stories ended rather abruptly as if they were trying not to go over a word limit. They contain some build up but fell flat. Decent campfire stories but not scary enough to be true horror. The narrator did an okay job but most of the time it felt like he was telling a story to the person standing next to him without trying to get too excited.

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  • Jason S.
  • 15-12-19

I'm kind of disappointed...

I don't usually comment on a book but I am kind of surprised at the tone of this whole Collection. I personally enjoyed a couple stories, but overall felt like there was so much emphasis on articulating in descriptive writing I feel like I missed the 'umph' I was looking for. Again, this is just my opinion, but I didn't feel pushed at all.

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  • Lee Robinson
  • 14-12-19

Fell flat for me, your opinion may vary

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

The biggest problem with the Year's Best Hardcore Horror series in my opinion is that it shouldn't be a series - it should be split into two different yearly anthologies so readers have a clearer idea what they're getting. The three volumes I've consumed never really seem to come to a clear consensus on what 'hardcore' means and this one is probably the stongest example : The stories contained within exhibit the usual wild variety but many of them tend to trend towards the cheesecakey sort of horror that's predominant on the free horror podcast circuit and several days later I can't recall any of them. Again, your opinion may vary. If your horror tastes trend towards character development and slow implied horror that never really shows the entirety of its hand and leaves you pondering the implications of the situation, you'll probably want to give this one a pass.

On the bright side the few that don't fit into the aforementioned category are pretty good. All God’s Creatures Got Reasons is the standout piece. The narration is also well-done and has none of the strange editing or level-shifting issues that can ruin books before they begin.

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  • Dana
  • 05-12-19

If this is the year's best, it was a bad year.

A couple of the stories were not too bad, but in general this collection was luke warm. I really found the narrator difficult to listen to. I will not buy another audio book narrated by D. Paul Falkner. Several stories I quit listening to and jumped to the next. Overall, I would not recommend this book.

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Profile Image for Matt Raftis
  • Matt Raftis
  • 07-11-19

A tough listen

I was given this audiobook for my honest review. I have left this voluntarily.

This book is a good collection of interesting short stories with horrifying ideas for the basis. I generally really like listening to these audiobooks, I like how many authors come up with really creative ideas for their stories.

However, I really couldn't finish this audiobook. The narration lacked a lot of inflection and it felt that it was rushed. The narrator needs to pick up on the different narrating styles and differences between the varying point of views. This is a horror book, there is a trick to timing, narrating pacing and letting listeners digest what's going on for more dramatic or moments that we need to "click" when we get it.

My recommendation going forward for D Paul Faulkner is to listen to other similar audiobooks in the genre. Really listen to what works and what doesn't.

Its key to have inflection, pacing and varying narration for different characters and scenes. I really want the Narrator to improve and get better!

Slow down and don't rush through the stories, believe me I know the headspace for these really long book jobs.

Regretfully, I cannot recommend this audiobook. I would recommend reading the kindle version instead.